Welcome to the Alumni section of our website. We are very proud of all our student's achievements, past and present. We highly value our connection with 'Old Carletonians'. We would love to hear about any achievements you have made since leaving Carleton High School.

If you would like to be featured, please email



Keal Carlile

To get where I got to in my rugby career it took a lot of sacrifices along the way. These sacrifices started back when I was at Carleton high school as a student. Going through school having to juggle school work, homework and training most nights for my local club Featherstone Lions, then went onto the Wakefield district, Yorkshire and England before signing on a scholarship at 14 years old (Year 9/10) for Bradford Bulls, who at the time were one of the best and most prestigious clubs in the world.

Even when I signed at Bradford, I had to train there twice a week, still had to train at Featherstone Lions and also district, Yorkshire and England at different times throughout the year. This carried on throughout the rest of my school years.

Although I had all the above to do on an evening I knew how important it was to make sure I kept on top of my school work as I knew rugby was not forever. I still did more or less every after school sport too which I loved – Rugby, football, cricket and athletics to name a few.

Obviously doing all the above I had to make a lot of sacrifices. I couldn’t hang around and go out with friends after school. I couldn’t eat un healthy foods at lunch and break time. A lot of my friends would do the above, but I knew if I made these sacrifices I would get to where I wanted to be and hopefully play super league rugby.

What are you doing now?

I’ve recently retired from playing in March due to an underlying health condition with my heart. But I am proud to have played professionally for 14 years from leaving school.

Due to trying hard at school and ensuring I concentrated on this as well as rugby, throughout my career I knew i had to get something in place for when I retire at whatever time that may be.

When I turned 25 I started studying alongside rugby and became a financial adviser specialising in mortgages and protection. I did this alongside rugby for 5 years. Having this in place as made my transition from a rugby player to normal work as such so much easier.

I know so many players who have retired due to injury all of a sudden and have nothing to fall back on, so this is why I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to try hard, respect all teachers and do well at school, even if you do have aspirations of becoming a professional sportsman in whatever sport you play.

I think all the sacrifices I made and the discipline I have sustained throughout my childhood and career has put me on the front foot in life after rugby and up to know I am doing very well.

How did you get to where you are today?

I got where I am today with all of the above really.

  • Hard work
  • Dedication
  • Sacrifices
  • Professionalism
  • Keeping my feet on the ground and everyday willing to learn, improve and get better because nobody is ever perfect and there is always room for improvement.

What’s your biggest achievement to date?

I think my biggest achievement to date was making my super league debut at just 17 years old live on sky sports! This was all I ever wanted and worked so hard for so to do it at just 17 was a dream come true.

I also toured Wales, France and Australia for my county at academy level which ive got great memories of.

Finally when I came towards the back end of my career I played for my childhood team I supported Featherstone Rovers which again as a young child was a dream of mine.

Making my family proud every time I stepped on the pitch made me so happy. Having my children, wife, family and friends able to watch me every week made playing professionally that bit sweeter!

What advice would you give?

My advice to any child to help them achieve there potential or make a dream a reality is to keep your head down, stay focused not only at what sport you play but in day to day life as this will help you get to where you want to be!

Make them tough sacrifices as young adult and do the right things!

Take advice and listen to others trying to teach you or learn you new things at whatever that may be… academically or at training.

Most of all be humble and do not get 1 step ahead because as I said above you can always be better tomorrow!

Richard Fletcher

What are you doing now?

Chief Executive office of the New Collaborative Learning Trust (based at New College, Pontefract)

How did you get to where you are today?

Attended New College and studied A-Levels, then went on to University to study secondary PE teaching, my first job was at Royds Hall High school in Huddersfield as a PE teacher (2 years), I then worked at Castleford High School for 10 years, I started as a PE teacher, Head of Year then my last 5 years were as an Assistant Headteacher responsible for raising achievement at key stage 4, I started at New College Pontefract 11 years ago as Assistant Principal, I then I was appointed Vice Principal, Principal and then CEO.

What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Personally - captaining Pontefract RUFC 1st XV for 3 years.

Professionally – being part of the team to achieve outstanding status at New College Pontefract in 2013/14

What advice would you give?

Work really hard, never give up, life can be tough at times but learning from tough times makes you stronger. Always remain positive, surround yourself with good people, don’t be influenced by the wrong type of people. Set yourself a target and try to achieve it. I firmly believe everyone can achieve what they want if they are prepared to work hard for it. Enjoy life and the challenges and opportunities it brings.

Vicky Marks

What are you doing now?

Principal at New College, Pontefract)

How did you get to where you are today?

After I left Carleton High, I went to Wakefield College for 2 years to do my A levels. New College was due to open the year after and I didn’t want to stay at school for 2 more years. I went on to the University of Leicester to study for a degree in Biological Chemistry. I didn’t have a career plan so, despite having just met a nice lad (who you might know!) I travelled around the world with a friend. A year later, the nice lad had trained to be a teacher and, if I’m honest, he was the reason I decided to do the same. It might not have been the best way to choose a career but it worked out pretty well for me. I’ve worked in all kinds of schools, including a year at a girls’ boarding school that was quite an experience! In 2006 I decided to take a break from teaching, returning in 2013 to work as a part time Chemistry teacher at New College. It was the dream job for me because I’ve always loved teaching A level and the students and staff are just brilliant. I was lucky to be given lots of opportunities to get involved in the growth of the College and the Trust, and now here I am as Principal.

What’s your biggest achievement to date?

I think I’m most proud of managing to take time out to look after my children and picking up my career later. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to put your career to one side when you have other priorities, and when I was a young teacher, someone once told not to be afraid to make bold moves because if you’re good, you’ll always get a job.

What advice would you give?

Do what you enjoy and don’t worry about having a firm plan for the future. Be open to opportunities when they arise. Listen to the people who believe in you and notice you. Face your fears and do the things that scare you. Smile.

Simon Massey

What are you doing now?

I am the Founding Partner and Director of Neverland, a Brand Strategy & Creative Communications agency in Shoreditch, London. Basically we’re an advertising agency that creates the direction for brands as well as making adverts. We launched only 18 months ago, but already we are working with NBC News in New York, Campari Group in New York, Milan and Toronto, Jacobs coffee in Amsterdam and Heck sausages in North Yorkshire. If you remember seeing the Heck sausages advert on TV this summer, that was made by us. I am one of two partners who set the business up. I am responsible for brand strategy, which means setting the direction of brands, which consumers they target, how they target them, what the brand’s personality is, and how it should look. I also run the business side of things, looking after everything from how the office runs (ordering toilet roll and making tea), to managing the finances.

How did you get to where you are today?

After sixth form at Carleton High (I was one of the few years that did Sixth Form at the school), I went to Wakefield College to do a Foundation Course in Art & Design. Then I went to Lancaster University and did a degree in Design & Marketing. I left Uni and jumped around jobs for a bit because I just wanted to save money to go travelling. I was a mystery shopper for a car hire company (where I learned what good customer service looked like), I was a coffee vending machine salesman (where I learned loads about how to sell) and I worked in a telemarketing office (where I learned about how to sell over the phone). After a year, I didn’t go travelling, I actually ended up unemployed and back home in Pontefract. I applied for loads and loads of jobs, and after six months of unemployment and lots of rejection letters, I went to work for a tiny marketing agency in Henley-on-Thames near London. I was working in New Product Development, which is inventing new products for brands to launch. On my first ever project, I invented Milky Way Magic Stars. I was 23. I worked there for 2.5 years and then in 1996 I decided to start my own agency. I was 26. I ran that agency for 7 years. It was pretty successful and in 2003, I sold it to my business partner so that I could explore new challenges. The same year, I started a new agency called The Gild. I grew that agency for 13 years, eventually having over 40 staff, with offices in London and New York. But as the company got bigger and bigger, I found that I wasn’t doing any marketing, or creative work anymore. I was just being a CEO, growing the business, looking after the staff and making sure the computers kept working. It was successful, but it wasn’t making me happy. So in 2016, I made a very big decision to stop running the company. I closed the whole thing down and I started again in my loft with just 4 of my closest colleagues. I loved it and enjoyed getting back to actually doing the work, which is what made me happy. After two years of working in my loft, I was ready to start again and that’s when I launched Neverland.

What’s your biggest achievement to date?

My biggest work achievement is definitely creating agencies that have a reputation for being amazing places to work at. Places that have a fantastic culture, that treat everyone with respect, equality, decency and honesty – but importantly, places that make sure that every day is exciting and fun, where laughter and having a good time is everything. Places that people still feel like they belong to, even after they have left. There is nothing more important (in work life) than loving going to work every day, and for that, you need to work at a company that has a wonderful culture. Beyond the cultural side, there have been some amazing experiences, too many to mention, but definitely including designing the logo for Reading Festival and standing in front of the stage as The Prodigy played under my logo. Driving Route 66 in America in a vintage American car for 8 days for a photo shoot. Travelling to Mexico to explore tequila distilleries. Tasting chocolate for Cadbury’s. The most amazing achievements are definitely the experiences you have along the way, not the successes.

What advice would you give?

Follow your passion. Do something that makes you truly happy, excited and enlivened every day. You will work for a really big part of your life, so make sure you enjoy it. If you’re not happy, don’t be too frightened to jump ship and do something else. And learn from every step, every experience. I still remember the interview that I had for the coffee vending machine salesman job. I hated the job and I only stayed for two weeks, but what I learned in the interview stayed with me for years and years. And finally, make friends with everyone you meet. The network I have created by being kind and friendly to everyone I have ever met through work, has definitely been the thing that I has helped my success the most. You never know, when you meet someone new, how they might come to help you some time in the future. I stayed friends with someone I met in a meeting once and ten years later she became a client and gave me work. It’s always worth being friendly to everyone and staying in touch!

Carl Bedford

What are you doing now?

Currently I’m enjoying being an artist, although I am best part retired and do pretty much whatever I wish.  I mostly paint oil onto canvas, support my wife and daughter and do DIY.

How did you get to where you are today?

Aged 16, I undertook a Graphic Art apprenticeship at Hardy Printers in Castleford (now Freeport).

Aged 20, I decided to join the Royal Air Force as an Intelligence Analyst and moved to Cambridgeshire where I predominantly lived for the next 10 years, I became a Sergeant and worked in Northern Ireland, Germany and Washington DC.  I worked in Northern Ireland in 1990/91, on the first Gulf War, the Bosnian War and many exciting and interesting missions.  I met my wife in the RAF (1991) and moved around a little with her also, living in Portsmouth, Hampshire and Reading, Berkshire for one year each.

Aged 30, I left the RAF and followed my wife’s career as a Nursing Officer for a short while.  This enabled me to do a few different things, such as working for a communications company in Reading, Berkshire and I also worked for several months in both Aylesbury and Morocco as a film extra in ‘The Four Feathers’ with Heath Ledger, Michael Sheen and Wes Bentley (casting and screen shots were at Pinewood and Shepperton studios).

Aged 32, we moved to Cardigan in Wales and I then joined the Police.  Initially serving as a uniform constable and then as a Detective Constable, leaving after 8 years.

Aged 40, I decided I wanted a degree, something that eluded me on leaving school, so I became a mature student as Swansea University studying to be a Mental Health Nurse.  I achieved a 1st Class Hons Bachelor of Nursing degree and worked in the community as a Psychiatric Nurse for the next several years.  I taught student nurses and paramedics at Swansea University and then at the University of Sunderland, so I did teach after all.

Aged 47, we moved to England and settled near Durham which is my wife’s home town.  I worked as a nurse at an older adult home, I worked as an intelligence analyst for Durham Police and finally for 18 months with Durham Council as a menta health worker.

Aged 50, I decided to spoil myself and become a freelance artist, househusband etc, mainly working for myself, painting what I like and maybe selling some art?

So I have had a very fortunate existence.

What’s your biggest achievement to date?

I have enjoyed so many achievements, from saving or helping to save lives in the RAF, Police and in nursing, to gaining a 1st degree in my forties.  Working closely with various security agencies from all over the world, including the CIA in Langley, USA and even having lunch in the Pentagon.

What advice would you give?

During some of the high level and dream job meetings, I would just sit there in my own disbelief and would say to myself, “I can’t believe I am here, I am just Carl from Chequerfield and I went to Carleton High School, but yet here I am sat in these meetings.”

It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you are from, life is exciting if you work hard, keep positive and go for it! Also a job/career isn’t necessarily for life, you can change and improve yourself if you wish.  I have won some and I have lost some, I have had many rejections and some successes, but I have enjoyed every minute and I have many stories to tell my grandchildren.  So, go for it, why not?